The Best Budget Sewing Machines

Are you a beginner looking to get your first sewing machine as a Christmas gift or do you know someone who’s in need of a budget starter sewing machine?

A month or so ago you may recall that I helped a friend test a bunch of sewing machines for an article in The Sunday Mirror newspaper, and now that it’s been published I can reveal our results!

It was really difficult to assign ratings to all of these since most were good in so many different ways, but it was really eye opening to see how much value you can get in a starter machine these days. The article left off the one machine we found really frustrating and disappointing, but it’s nice to be able to say that all of the above were all decent value for money and I can recommend for beginners.

Top marks went to the Brother 2020, but we also really liked the Janome J3-24, the Toyata SPA 15, and the Brother XL21-20, though you should read the above article for more details. We were most surprised by the John Lewis Mini sewing machine, that you’d think for the price would just be a toy but actually sewed really well despite its feature limitations.

Or if you’d rather go vintage, check out the reviews of vintage sewing machines on the Zigzaggers site, including my own vintage sewing machine!

UPDATE: I actually got the Red JL mini machine for my birthday and sewed up a little travel bag for it, too. It’s a great little machine for easily carrying to friend’s houses, and I sewed on it in hospital, too. It has limitations (no light or speed control, and no buttonholes) but for the price and weight it’s great!

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